US ‘licence to snoop’ on British air travellers
By David Millward, Transport Correspondent
Last Updated: 1:35am GMT 01/01/2007
Britons flying to America could have their credit card and email accounts inspected by the United States authorities following a deal struck by Brussels and Washington.
By using a credit card to book a flight, passengers face having other transactions on the card inspected by the American authorities. Providing an email address to an airline could also lead to scrutiny of other messages sent or received on that account.
The extent of the demands were disclosed in “undertakings” given by the US Department of Homeland Security to the European Union and published by the Department for Transport after a Freedom of Information request.
About four million Britons travel to America each year and the released document shows that the US has demanded access to far more data than previously realised.
Not only will such material be available when combating terrorism but the Americans have asserted the right to the same information when dealing with other serious crimes.
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